By: Julia Hayko, Outreach Associate (Student)
Saskatchewan is in desperate need of a poverty plan. The people have spoken, the government has responded: due to the hard work of our provincial colleagues, it looks like this is about to change…
On October 22, 2014 Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield marked the beginning of 2014 fall legislature with a speech from the throne announcing the development of a Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Though Saskatchewan has the second lowest poverty rate in Canada, the provincial government has recognized that there is still much more to be done. In an article produced by the Globe, Saskatoon’s Lori Snakeskin was quoted stating: “Life can’t prepare you for poverty, I was doing well, everything was great and then my daughter got sick and from there it seemed you get yourself deeper and deeper.” This is a perfect example of the work that still must be done and that we are hoping to see in the release of the strategy.
The Poverty Reduction Strategy will be a “living document”, according to Social Services Minister, Donna Harpauer. The plan must be able to react and adapt to changing circumstances in the province and the various programs that the Poverty Reduction Strategy will impact.
Though there is no official timeline of when the new Poverty Reduction Strategy will be completed and delivered, the Provincial Government of Saskatchewan will be meeting with various community groups and stakeholders to develop the strategy in the upcoming months. We are looking forward to the final product.
This progress is in large part due to our colleagues in Saskatchewan who have been working tirelessly to get the provincial government to take action on poverty. We have worked closely with project upstream in Saskatchewan, who have attended summits put on by the Dignity for All Campaign and work with our colleagues, Poverty Costs who were mentioned in the throne speech. Congratulations to our Saskatchewan partners – it looks like your hard work has paid off!
If we want to do something about poverty nationally, we need a plan. At Canada Without Poverty and the Dignity for All Campaign, we believe that provincial and territorial poverty elimination plans as well as a federal plan can make a difference. Good plans really do work, for example: from 2006-2011, provinces that implemented poverty reduction strategies with targets and timelines (Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick) made substantial impact in reducing child poverty specifically.
To access the Saskatchewan Throne Speech 2014 click here.
Poverty Costs: http://www.povertycosts.ca/
Project Upstream: http://www.thinkupstream.net/